April 18, 2008 12:14 PM PDT

Week in review: Psystar and the Mac minions

Capping a saga that had Apple watchers atwitter all week, the payment-processing merchant for Mac clone maker Psystar abruptly ended its relationship with the company after it discovered what was for sale on Psystar's site.

Psystar's Open Computer comes preinstalled with Mac OS X Leopard, a violation of Apple's licensing agreement for its operating system.

Powerpay had been the payment processor for Psystar's online store until Wednesday, when it yanked its services from Psystar's Web site. That move sent the store offline midday Wednesday and it has been available only intermittently since then, halting sales of Open Computer.

Psystar, assuming the company is legit, could be in a position to test the strength of Apple's end-user license agreement for Leopard in the courts. Specific provisions of EULAs have been litigated, but the overall concept has yet to be tested in U.S. courts. As of Friday morning, Apple has not commented on Psystar, but reporter Tom Krazit will have the scoop if and when it does.

While Macdom was scratching its head over the Psystar shenanigans this week, some in the tech world were breathing a sigh of relief. Earnings news from several tech bellwethers could, amid economic worries, help reassure the industry that the world isn't about to implode.

Google on Thursday topped pessimistic Wall Street profit expectations, reporting a net income increase of 31 percent to $1.31 billion for its most recent quarter. The company's stock surged more than $54, or 12 percent, to $503 in after-hours trading. That marks a significant step toward the company's all-time high of $747.24 in November.

Google's earnings report comes amid fears that an economic slowdown or recession could be hurting Google's paid-click results, and a SearchIgnite report this week did find that Yahoo is stealing some of Google's search advertising thunder.

But Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt calls the worries baseless. "It's clear to us that we're well positioned for 2008 and beyond..." he said during a conference call.

Could Google's earnings make Microsoft yearn more for Yahoo? News.com Editor in Chief Dan Farber thinks so.

Intel, too, had a bullish first quarter. The chipmaker reported revenue of $9.7 billion, up 9 percent from the same period last year and a little better than Wall Street analysts were expecting.

And count IBM among those reporting a strong first quarter. As CNET News.com editor Jim Kerstetter observed, "Now you have the most important company in PCs and servers, the most important business tech company, and the most important Internet company all saying the same thing: We're confident in the rest of the year, "regardless of the business environment we find ourselves surrounded by," as Google's Schmidt put it in an earnings call."

For Advanced Micro Devices, however, times are still tough. The company's woes continue with a $358 million loss. The company's processor business took in more revenue despite not having its two best products available for much of the first quarter, but at the expense of profits.

Console bragging rights
In other numbers news, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony all used the release of The NPD Group's March video game industry sales report to tout their supposed successes.

"In March, Nintendo again defined industry momentum in both home and portable video game sales," Nintendo said in an e-mail response to the report.

Microsoft weighed in with its own celebratory e-mail, saying that according to NPD, "consumers continue to make the ultimate vote for Xbox 360 as the console of choice."

Sony, not to be left out, trumpeted the PlayStation 3's 98 percent sales growth from the same period a year earlier.

CONTINUED: Hands off my trademark…
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Week in review: Psystar and the Mac sheeps
I find it rather interesting that so many (biased) people accuse Microsoft of monopolist and anti-competitive business models and, at the same time, praise Apple when it's Apple (not evil Microsoft) that forces everyone to buy a Mac to use their operating system and doesn't let anyone else use it. Tell me about anti-competitive business models. And the same business model is used with iPod/iTunes, or any other Apple product, for that matter. It's beacuse of business models and EULAs like this that Microsoft, with its (better-every-version-)Windows operating system, is and will continue to be the incontested market leader (with steady 90+% market share) and Apple, with its (less-and-less-secure-to-use-)Mac OS, is and will continue to be trailing way behind Microsoft with an insignificant market share (which, against what biased reports try to make believe, actually declined from 7.57% in January 2008 to 7.48% in March 2008, whereas Windows's raised from 91.50% to 91.57% in the same period of time - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=9" target="_newWindow">http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=9</a>).
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Take a business class
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Link Flag
You undercut your own argument (that Apple is using
monopolistic practices) by pointing out that Apple has less than
10% market share. 10% is not a monopoly.

Yes, all of their (sanctioned) OS X installs is on Apple hardware.
If you don't like it, buy a Windows PC.

Monopolistic practices are only monopolistic when there is a
monopoly. Apple does not have a monopoly, not in computers,
not in OSes, not even in online music sales.
Posted by Talinus (12 comments )
Link Flag
hands off my trademark ... smile
I'm not sure I have this right ... but I think it was Madonna -- not the original metaphor girl, or the later one, the portrait model famous for her in-the-throes-of-an-immaculate-conception-labor smile, but the girl, version, brought to us by Sexpot Software of Bay City, Michigan -- who changed what keeping pinkies off a trademark smile might mean.

And that was a good thing at the oasis, since it allowed Julia Roberts, later, to have a good role as an unsure but smiling, out-of-place professor (with not exactly a Madonna smile, but the Hollywood equivalent) at the kind of school that produces, in real life apparently, tight-lipped presidential hopefuls with short, cocktail dress memories. "The Teacher Smile" might have been a tough sell to the studios.

How the girl from Bay City did it, or course, was by broadening the view of what a trademark smile is. Lurid? Liberating? Like the current, no bridge to the 21st century for intellectual property, it was both and neither. A zero-sum equation. The chains and cuffs were present for a reason. Physical bonds of a physical life in a physical world. Like the portrait model and the metaphor before her, the Bay City girl was imprisoned but in various and different ways, this time making money for it.

And what's a get-off on confinement for, now, but an excuse to supplicate the self before the beastie gewgaws of the past, without the need to grapple with the irony of a mind that's throwing up the images of submission, lust, and past?

Enter "intellectual property," a lusty oxymoron if ever there was one. That we, members of the hairy ape set with, oftentimes, a better sense of hygiene than our cousins at the zoo, are living lives made possible by the strange and furtive irony of living in our heads, outside the physical, postal address of the self, is hard to easily deny.

So clever with our hands that, in our head lives, we're making things we can't come close to seeing, hearing, touching. Using ideas of ideas, to make ideas of things that have a real presence, purpose, use -- uses we can't come close to fully using.

Enter the hind end of "intellectual property" -- a vast array of retooled, beastie poo. Oh, yes -- imposing power and control on creative, free-association has a great and glorious effect. And the people hanging on, still living not in their heads but deep inside their heart of pants-hearts, controlling things -- well, it's just the bees knees for the species.

Not possible for there to exist, together, personal reward and public sharing? Indie lives, lived together? Oh, no. We're way not clever enough for anything as complicated as that. Poor, widdle, Madonna smiling not us, thingies.
Posted by zeplin10ten (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's a Hackintosh!
<a href="http://www.osx86project.org/">Mac OSX can be hacked to run on non-Apple branded PCs</a> and it is easier to do than you'd think.

Buy a $399 Dell, Compaq, Gateway, etc and run Mac OSX on it if you want.
Posted by Andy kaufman (291 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's not a monopoly when Apple does it!
It is just business like backdating stock options. Take a business class or read the history of Enron to see how Apple can do business.
Posted by Andy kaufman (291 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Heron > Leapord
This whole 'open mac' thing is a waste of time.

That said, I would absolutely love to see the Apple EULA struck down in court.
Posted by ethana2 (348 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Since none of you here are Apple fans, why are you posting here? Don't you have your own WIndblows forums to expel your frustrations over not being able to afford some quality in your life? Do you even HAVE a life? I hope Apple knocks Psystar's peepee off. They will be left with nothing but the big set of kahunas they used to try and sell us the pile of doo doo they claim is as good as a Mac.

nuf said.
Posted by shycelticwitch (1042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I am getting the impression that certain words typed into this comment box will automatically cancel your posting. Not fair. I hope Psystar loses.
Posted by shycelticwitch (1042 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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